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Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013

Seminar, camp to help survivors heal

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Fort Benning’s Survivor Outreach Services is hosting the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors seminar March 22-23.

TAPS is a nonprofit organization that provides long- and short-term emotional help for the survivors of military service members. Each year, the organization holds a National Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp, as well as regional survivor seminars and camps like the one that will be held at Fort Benning.

Survivors within a 200-mile radius of post were sent invites to the event, said Ron Smith, SOS support coordinator.

Besides the seminar and camp, the event also includes a Hall of Heroes photo mounting ceremony and dinner for guests.

“It is a shared experience with other like survivors who may or may not be experiencing the same things you are,” he said. “The seminars are designed to let people talk and to bond with other people and have some acceptance with them. It’s a unique situation with survivors.”

Even though they may come from different backgrounds, he said, being a survivor means they share a bond with others like them and the seminar is a chance for them to discuss their feelings if they want to share. There will be survivors of military service members from many branches attending as well, he said.

There will be different types of group sessions, such as ones for survivors of service members who died in combat, by suicide, group sessions for parents and sessions for other types of needs, Smith said. The seminar will help both adults and children to understand the grieving process.

For more information or to seek help from TAPS, call their toll-free hotline at 800-959-8277. For more information or to get in touch with Fort Benning’s Survivor Outreach Services, visit www.benningmwr.com/acs-sos.php.

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